How does it operate?
One of the unique strengths of Jobteam Gent is that they offer more long-term and tailored support than that provided by most recruitment agencies. As part of their strategy, Jobteam Gent has adopted an outreach approach. This means it moves away from the traditional way of working where job seekers are required to visit an office. Instead, the staff members of Jobteam Gent step into the living environment of the job seekers, visiting social services, youth centres, specific neighbourhoods, individuals’ homes, work locations and so on. This allows the staff to reach and support the most vulnerable people. Jobteam Gent also works on an individual basis. The coaching program is not fixed in advance, but is determined by the job seeker and their job coach. In this way, Jobteam Gent can guarantee an accessible, intensive and sustained service for the job seeker concerned. In their search for a suitable job, Jobteam Gent addresses other aspects of life too, such as housing needs, drug problems, financial problems, or psychological problems. The focus is thus not only on work, but on well-being in general.
What is the outcome?
Within the timeframe of the project, Jobteam Gent aims to reach 1,500 people and have 920 participants in an intensive coaching program towards employment. By the end of the first year, they had already established contact with 798 people, of which 532 had begun an intensive coaching programme.
Who initiated the project? How?
The 2-year project started at the beginning of 2020. The project is sponsored by the city of Ghent and the European Social Fund (ESF). According to ESF, “the project scores maximum on expertise and experience because of a very strong partnership, strong local infrastructure, and a very experienced team with diverse expertise”. The team is composed of 35 staff members from ten different partner institutions, including the city of Ghent and several civil society organisations.